Sunday, May 3, 2015

Using a Leaf Credo 50 Wide Spectrum (Part I)

There's a couple people I want to thank for allowing me the chance to try this marvelous digital back; Dave Gallaher, founder Capture Integration; Anthony Festa, National Tech Support, Capture Integration; and a new friend, Ziv Argov, V.P. Marketing Phase One. 

Cambo WRS, Rodenstock 40 HR
f/16, 1/500 ISO 100
Wide Spectrum (taken sometime after 12:30 P.M.) 

I recently had the pleasure of using a Leaf Credo WS 50 digital back on my Cambo WRS technical camera.  The "WS" stands for wide spectrum that allows a photographer the choice of capturing in infrared (using an IR-pass, visible-block filters); standard color (again, using an IR-block, visible-pass filter) and infracolor (using an orange/red filter).   All much the same as I have been doing with my Sony A7r converted camera only on a larger scale; 50-megapixel instead of 36. The WS 50 shines when coupled with a technical camera that in use is totally manual and offers a higher resolution lens that what is normally found on either a full frame 35mm camera or medium format 645 body; add the ability to have movements of both the digital back and lens you get a marriage made in IR heaven.  The WS 50 has a CMOS sensor vs. the more traditional CCD sensor which allows for a streaming type of live view that is unparalleled. 

Cambo WRS, Rodenstock 40 HR
f/16, 1/500 ISO 100
Color (taken sometimes after 12:30 P.M.)

During the time I was using the WS 50 I had no issues using the same batteries that I use with my IQ180 and I also had no issues tethering to my Surface Pro 3 as I normally do with the IQ180.  In short, this is one sweet IR medium format back.

Cambo WRS, Rodenstock 40 HR
f/16. 1/500 ISO 100
590nm (taken sometime after 12:30 P.M.)

I used the same set of filters that I normally use on my Sony A7r and at one point set up at Sand Harbor, State Park in NV to run through all of them.  I shot the same scene beginning in wide spectrum, then color (using a color filter) then 590nm, 720nm and finally 830nm infrared. 

Cambo WRS, Rodenstock 40 HR
f/16, 1/500 ISO 100
720nm IR

I also had the pleasure of shooting this back while in the South Lake Tahoe area and kept using it as we drove south through Nevada on our way home to Tucson.

Cambo WRS, Rodenstock 40 HR
f/16, 1/500 ISO 100
830nm IR
Why capture in wide spectrum or infrared?  In additional to having a great base to convert to black & white you also get the opportunity to achieve a different look to your photography as well as expanding the time your can shoot.  Normally in color photography you can best shoot during two-golden hours each day (sunrise and sunset).  You can continue to do this with a hot color mirror filter as well as adding the heat of the day when infrared filters shine.

I test the way I shoot so there's no graphs or brick walls.  I shoot landscape, nature and wildlife (in that order) so when I get a new piece of equipment I run everything through in that order.  My question(s) are simple; will it work for me. How much (if any) will I need to change my workflow, both in capture and processing. And will it make me money.

I've been shooting with a Phase One digital back for several years and have gotten quite comfortable in a workflow that, well works for me.  This was my first opportunity to try a Leaf digital back and was very pleased.  I found working it was intuitive and easy.  Instead of a menu that scrolls up and down like my IQ180 this one swipes much like reading a book.  While I personally don't care much for CMOS and cropped sensors I really like this one; I think it has more to do with it being Wide Spectrum.  I also found tethering to my Surface Pro 3 as easy as with my IQ180.  The ability of live view is what sets this apart.  IR filters have a tenacity to shift focus ever so slightly.  The ability to change into a live view mode, double tap the screen and check focus all within seconds made using this digital back a pure joy.  The screen was usable in bright noon day as well as inside a dark building.


This is just part one, so stay tuned for more.

And a tease of more to come...

3-shot panorama in 590nm IR

Processing Note: 


The first 5-sample images presented here are as shot from camera.  The only processing done was a custom white balance that was taken prior to each capture.  The WB file was set in C1-Pro as was the lens correction.  The file was then resized and saved as a jpeg using PS-CC.  The last sample is the result of 3-files shot in 590nm and stitched using PS-CC.  This file was also processed using a combination of Nik Software.

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